TrueCar is partnering with AutoNation and DAV (Disabled American Veterans) for the fourth annual DrivenToDrive program to help injured American veterans regain their independence.
The program gives the winning veteran a new vehicle, retrofitted to their needs and disability. This marks the fourth year and fifth vehicle donation through TrueCar’s DrivenToDrive.
This year’s vehicle, a retrofitted 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, was awarded to medically retired Air Force Senior Airman Karah Behrend in a surprise virtual ceremony in honor of Veterans Day, which is today (Nov. 11).
Jesse Iwuji, who is TrueCar Military’s brand ambassador, a NASCAR driver and a naval officer, participated as a special guest, surprising Behrend at her home in Phoenix, Arizona.
“No one can see my disability when I’m behind the wheel of a car,” Behrend says in a release. “Driving gives me a sense of freedom and the confidence that I’m not limited by my disability. Whether it’s running errands or letting my adrenaline flow with off-road racing, I feel like I have my independence back when I’m driving.”
Behrend joined the Air Force in 2011 as a Signals Intelligence Analyst and spent approximately six and a half years in the military before medically retiring. She was diagnosed with RSD CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) that left her in a wheelchair.
The 27-year-old is an adaptive athlete who participates in basketball and rugby Warrior Games. She also competes as an amateur rally racer. Behrend plans to use the vehicle to train other disabled individuals how to drive off-road with hand controls, in case they find themselves in a vulnerable situation or stuck off-road.
TrueCar has created a website with more information on the DriventoDrive program.